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5 PPVs WWE has done away with in 2018

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Brock Lesnar defended his Universal Championship against the Samoan Submission Machine in the main event of the first ever Great Balls of Fire PPV
Vinay Chhabria

The brand split took place in 2016. SmackDown episodes were no longer taped as the blue brand got its own set of superstars and pay-per-views. The Vince McMahon owned company raised the number of PPVs post brand-split. As RAW and SmackDown had their own brand exclusive specials apart from the “Big 4”, the WWE Universe got a PPV every 15 days.

That was too much wrestling to watch and to add more to the troubles of fans almost half of the “B” shows (B doesn’t stand for best here) comprised rematches or boring feuds. The fans didn’t find the concept interesting, and the company has tried to cut down the number of shows ever since.

WWE realized its mistake and cancelled brand-exclusive PPVs. As of 2018, all the pay-per-views are dual-branded and occur once in a month. This idea too has its own limitations as the under-card and lower mid-card got neglected.

WWE cut down its PPVs in 2018 which led to the company terminating 5 brand-exclusive events.


#1 WWE Payback

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WWE Payback 2017 Poster

WWE introduced the “Payback” PPV in 2013 and from then on it was a regular feature on the network until 2017. The event replace “No Way Out” in June 2013 but afterwards WWE used it as a post-WrestleMania pay-per-view. It was a RAW exclusive event last year and would have been a SmackDown exclusive one this past May but the company cancelled the show.

Payback 2014 was the last network special where The S.H.I.E.L.D took part in a six-man tag team match, a drought which ended at WWE Super Show-Down. The 2015 edition saw Seth Rollins defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a fatal 4 way match against his former S.H.I.E.L.D brothers Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. The 4th superstar in the match was the “Viper” Randy Orton.

In the next two years, the “Big Dog” Roman Reigns headlined Payback. While he defended his World Heavyweight title against AJ Styles in 2016, he lost to Braun Strowman in the main event of 2017.

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#2 WWE No Mercy

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WWE No Mercy 2016 Poster

WWE re-introduced No Mercy after 8 years, in 2016 as a SmackDown exclusive PPV. The No Mercy match card of 2016 had AJ Styles defend his WWE Championship against Dean Ambrose and John Cena in an epic triple threat match. The event also saw Dolph Ziggler saving his career after winning the IC title from the Miz in a “Career vs Title” match.

WWE assigned No Mercy to RAW in 2017 and the match card was way superior than the 2016 one as two historic first time ever matches took place at the Staples Center. Roman Reigns pinned John Cena after a fantastic match while Brock Lesnar conquered the challenge from Braun Strowman in a highly anticipated Universal Championship match.

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#3 WWE Great Balls of Fire

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WWE GBOF 2017 Poster

The event instantly generated a buzz among the WWE Universe ever since WWE announced its controversial name. The fans wondered about the stipulations the matches in this event. But WWE just played the fans out as it turned out to be just another PPV.

The main event saw Brock Lesnar defend his Universal Championship against Samoa Joe in a singles match. Brock defeated the Samoan with a F5 and kept his Universal title with him. The other matches saw Big Cass squash Enzo Amore while the king-slayer Seth Rollins lost a one-on-one match to Bray Wyatt. However, the highlights of the event were the classic Tag-team Championship (The Bar vs The Hardy Boyz in an Ironman match), Women’s championship match (Sasha Banks vs Alexa Bliss) and an Attitude-era type Ambulance match between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman.

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#4 Clash of Champions

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WWE Clash of Champions 2017

This PPV was earlier known by the name “Night of Champions”, a night where all the champions have to defend their titles. In the 2016 edition, Kevin Owens headlined the event along with Seth Rollins in a Universal Championship match. The other matches saw Roman Reigns winning his first ever United States Championship against Rusev and Charlotte defending her RAW Women’s title in a triple threat match versus Sasha Banks and Bayley.

In 2017, the “Clash of Champions” was a SmackDown exclusive PPV. Jinder Mahal invoked his WWE Championship contractual rematch clause to face AJ Styles in a world title match. Charlotte defended her SmackDown women’s title in a lumberjack match against Natalya. The Show-Off Dolph Ziggler stole the US Title from Baron Corbin in a triple threat match with the third superstar being Bobby Roode. The most talked about match-up of the night was the tag team bout between Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton versus Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, with Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan as special guest referees and the stipulation was that if Kevin and Sami they would be fired. Daniel Bryan quickly counted to three in the end and saved the Canadian duo’s jobs.

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#5 Battleground

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Probably, WWE's best PPV

WWE Battleground was the last PPV before the brand split in 2016 where the WWE Universe got the historic first ever triple threat match involving all 3 members of the S.H.I.E.L.D. The Lunatic Fringe successfully defended his WWE World Heavyweight Championship in what was an epic encounter. In 2016, the Miz defended his IC title against Darren Young while Rusev retained his US title after beating Zack Ryder.

The 2017 edition saw the return of the Punjabi Prison as Jinder Mahal and Randy Orton clashed for one final time with the Jinder’s title on the line. The Great Khali returned to help his country-man surprisingly to end the show. John Cena faced off against the Bulgarian Brute Rusev in a “Flag Match” while Kevin Owens and AJ Styles fought a classic match for the US Title.

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Which pay-per-view event do you want to make a return in 2019? Share your views in the comments section below.

Edited by Ben Roberts

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